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ENG 112 – Inquiry Two

Cultural Historical Interrogation


“At any given moment in a culture, there may be a dominant discourse, a way of thinking and persuading that is assumed to be the norm; or there may be a swirl of competing discourses; or there may be a decaying discourse held by one segment of a culture, but under attack and falling apart. There may well be, in reality, as many discourses as there are people.” (Steven Lynn)

Texts do not exist outside of their cultural and historic contexts. By examining the events, situations, and social forces that shape a text, as well as our understanding of it, it is possible to derive a deeper meaning that informs a broader, overall appreciation for that text. What can historic events and cultural ideologies add to our understanding of Native American texts? What events and forces influence both the production and understanding of these artifacts? And how does this particular “historic moment” influence our reading and composing practices?


For this Inquiry, you will be asked to look at a creative text and choose a cultural or historic issue within it that can be further studied and researched. The creative text could be a novel, short story, creative non-fiction essay, group of poems, film, painting, photograph, or other textual representation about and/or by Native Americans. You can refer to the chapters we read on literary criticism, particularly Historical, Postcolonial, and Cultural Studies criticism, as you form your ideas for this inquiry.


Once you have chosen a primary text, as well as a particular historic or cultural issue within it, you will research 1) the background, history, or other relevant information about that issue and 2) other works that have been written about your text, author, or artifact of choice. You must review and include at least two scholarly sources in your work, though you are welcome to include more. For your Research Blog, you will need to review at least ten sources, and include at least eight in your final paper.

Drafting – Part 2A

Research Blog and Synthesis/Reflection Paper

For this part of Inquiry Two, you will keep a Research Blog listing the sources you plan to use for your inquiry. These should include sources that cover 1) the historic/cultural issue you are examining and 2) other work about the primary text you are using. Within these, be sure to include at least two scholarly sources. For each entry, you should have:

1) an MLA citation at the beginning of the entry

2) a brief summary of the piece

3) an analysis of the position the piece contains

4) how it relates to your issue and text

5) to what audience the piece is directed and

6) how you foresee this contributing (or not) to your work.

Post this in your WordPress Blog, including a link to your source (if it is electronic). You may also embed video, images, or other helpful resources that will aid the reader in understanding the relevance of the source to your work. Please make each entry a separate Blog posting.  Total Length: At least ten sources, one paragraph each.

After you have reviewed at least ten sources, you will write a Synthesis/Reflection Paper that gives an overview of what you have learned in conducting your research, how it pertains to your text, the direction you foresee your paper going, and your reaction to what you have learned. Please post this to your Blog page when it is completed.  Length: 750 – 1000 words.

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